President Barack Obama has no concept of economics and believes that global climate change is more critically important than terrorism. I’m going to concentrate on economics in this column rather than terrorism, although if terrorists succeed in killing us, Obama’s economic policies (Obamanomics) won’t matter.

Obama has said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.” Funny, I thought former Vice President Al Gore invented the Internet.

In researching other notable Obama gems about economics, I think the most striking was “spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody” — his famous quote to “Joe the Plumber” during his first campaign.

This is the class warfare theme that wealth is bad and redistribution among the masses is good. This view is found in the socialist manifesto and in the ruins of one country after another who has tried it. The surest way to destroy a country’s economy is for the government to control and confiscate the fruits of individual labor. The engine of our highly successful economy is the free market that rewards business investment and entrepreneurship.

Obama’s economic proposals include: raising corporate taxes and the capital gains tax “for purposes of fairness.” What’s fair about increasing corporate taxes, which are already the highest in the world, and on savings that individuals have invested for retirement?

Why increase taxes on those most responsible for creating jobs, thus stifling those investments?

Obama once referred to General Motors stockholders as “speculators, refusing to sacrifice like everyone else.” Apparently, he wanted investors to lose all the money that they lent to GM.

He seems to find financial success (except for himself, of course) to be distasteful.

When working to pass the Dodd-Frank bill, Obama said, “I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” This kind of comment underscores the president’s attempt to promote the politically popular “politics of envy.” It’s hard to believe that we have a president who is so committed to the politics of division between what he sees as the haves and the have-nots.

Meanwhile, during his campaigns, he raised and spent record-breaking billions, most of which came from those whom he personally vilifies for their success. He recently spent a holiday weekend doing that for Democratic candidates.

During Obama’s first presidential campaign, his wife offered the couple’s feelings about the business world: “We left corporate America … don’t go into corporate America … because you know community activists are so much more valuable than corporate leaders.”

And you wonder why most business people are Republicans?

As the attacks on capitalism increase and the assault on those who create the jobs and our economy become more dangerous, we should keep in mind a few facts: The hated 1 percent, the most successful in our society, already pay more than 40 percent of all reported income taxes. The top 50 percent pay 97.1 percent of all income taxes. The remaining 50 percent pay 2.9 percent of the nation’s income taxes. Think about that. Does that sound as if the most successful among us aren’t paying their fair share of taxes?

As a nation we should get off this contempt for capitalism, the politics of envy and the socialist call for redistribution of wealth. We should celebrate our economic freedom, roll up our sleeves, take some chances, go to a bank, start a small business, or look for help in getting an education and a job — assistance is all around us.

I reject the Obama administration’s economic philosophy that wants us to depend upon the government and that believes the public sector is unable to do the things that continue to make our economic model the envy of the world.

If we get government out of the way, we can watch business investments and jobs soar. Or we can sit idly by until 2016, when our next president could be Hillary Clinton, who one said, “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” Statements like that are just dumb and dangerous.

Housekeeping: A letter to the editor inaccurately inferred that in my Feb. 2 column I opposed a proposal to raise the minimum wage. I wrote, “It probably is time at the federal level for an increase, and I support it, but Augusta city government has no role in setting the minimum wage.”

Don Roberts, a former city councilor and former vice chairman of the Charter Commission in Augusta, is a trustee of the Greater Augusta Utility District.


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